Migrating from SLES 11SP4 to 12: "Packages to Update: 0"

This document (7018846) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

Environment

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 4 (SLES 11 SP4)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 1 (SLES 12 SP1)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 2 (SLES 12 SP2)

Situation

During migration from SLES11 SP4 to 12 using the official upgrade methods, the "Packages to Update" are shown as "0", resulting in a incomplete migration and broken system.

In some cases, an error message might pop-up during the installation process stating that the system could not mount the partitions correctly.

Note: The user can however still proceed with the installation process despite this error, which can be misleading and make it look like the installation can be successfully completed regardless.

In addition to this, the "Total Size of Packages to Update" on a normally successful installation is at least 3GB big but instead, a much lower number is displayed (1.1GB for instance).

Resolution

  1. During the upgrade, verify the fields on "Installation Settings" and if under the "Packages" field the "Packages to Update" and "Packages to Remove" are displayed as "0", abort the process and reboot the server.
  2. Boot the server from the hard disk and verify if all entries in the /etc/fstab file are correctly set with no syntax / typing errors for any of the entries, empty lines or even extra spaces.
  3. Once the file is verified to be correct, reboot the server and attempt the upgrade process again.

Cause

During the upgrade process, the new SLES12 image will try to mount the local file system partitions by reading the entries in the existing /etc/fstab file. If there are any misconfiguration with this file (like a "typo" with one of the entries or a complete empty line pointing to nothing or even extra spaces), the upgrade system will fail to mount the partitions which in turn results in the amount of packages to update to be wrongly identified.

Proceeding with the upgrade in this condition will leave the system with many unresolved dependencies and the upgrade will fail, resulting in a broken system.

Disclaimer

This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7018846
  • Creation Date: 28-Apr-2017
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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